I hear it all the time: "I wish I wasn't such a professional procrastinator," "how do you get your assignments finished so fast?" If I was like you, I would have high honors." Then there's my personal favorite: "I always cram the night before exams, it's just the way I am." The ugly truth is, you are in control. With mid-term season around the corner, stop replacing your responsibilities with excuses, unless you enjoy frequent fight-or-flight, the joys of heart disease, and some good ol' chronic stress to help you age faster. Guess what? Feeling unprepared from procrastination result in higher stress than your seemingly endless to-do list. Oh, and you don't work better under pressure. Just saying.
Every conscientious person will feel anxiety after hearing deadline after deadline, but what makes these anxieties sky rocket and obliterate into gray hairs and messy transcripts? Not diligently tackling our tasks one by one, and instead letting them get lost into the blackhole of our minds until reappearing on our transcripts, and in the form of gray hairs!
Stop repressing your responsibilities
At the beginning of the semester, you're given a syllabus for every class. You know the dates of your exams. I don't know about you, but syllabus week is actually the most anxiety-provoking week of the semester. You are thrown the run down on due dates, exam dates, and overall triggering things to add to our to-do lists. However, it's up to us to decide what to do with them. It's you who has the power to not allow these dates to fall into that blackhole until it's too late.
You're in college for four years, make the most of your brain elasticity
Another ugly truth: our brains ain't gettin' any younger. Take advantage of its elasticity and super learning abilities now while we're young and fresh! We're in college for four years, an utterly small percentage of our lives. Push yourself to be your best, it will be worth it after you graduate. Embrace the knowledge, be grateful for your education, and the stress will begin to alleviate with a little thought-process rewiring.
Be a rocket
Like my girl Mel says in my all-time favorite TEDx Talk, be a rocket before your mind has time to intervene. After every lecture, make those flashcards. Prepare yourself early for an anxiety-free exam week. Color code your calendar. You can be the student you keep wishing you were. It's not a God-given talent. It's called discipline.
With ugly truths, come hard, yet worthwhile solutions: stop letting your mind get the best of you.
Due dates and exams may make you anxious, but you'll feel the weight of a million Rut buses taken off of your shoulders once you confront your anxieties. Don't be scared of your to-do list. Tackle one thing at a time. Putting off your anxieties only worsen them, to where you'll be in an even more stressful situation in the future, such as downing red bulls during 3 AM Alexander Library nights.